Anywhere Faith

Have you ever struggled to step out in faith when you sensed God calling you to do something? Or perhaps you’ve just doubted your faith because of difficult circumstances swirling around you. 

My friend, Heather King, is guest posting today on my blog and her new book Anywhere Faith is something you will definitely want to check out. She writes candidly about how fear and insecurity often get in the way of our desire to step out in faith. You’ll be challenged and encouraged by her words! 

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I was in the middle of packing for a writer’s conference when I felt a crushing wave of defeat.

I wanted to give up.

It would be easier (I told God) if I just stopped now, stopped packing, stopped investing time, energy, focus and resources on writing.

Maybe I could pick it up again later, but right now this was hard.

I felt terrifyingly small. I worried that maybe I was trying to do something that God hadn’t actually called me to do.  Had I heard His voice right?  Was I in His will?

I also, to be totally honest, felt overwhelmed by the idea of being plain old me at a large writer’s conference with women who looked so put-together.  They would have perfect hair with perfect highlights and perfectly awesome shoes that matched their perfectly stylish outfits.

Me?  I don’t have highlights in my hair and I don’t wear high heels.  Surely I’d be out of place.

I flopped back on the pillows of my bed with stacks of clothes around me and an empty suitcase in front of me.

It felt like one of those defining moments, one of those times when we have to choose whether we take another step forward and say “yes” to God or we pack it all in and choose what feels easier in the moment.

Two things happened.

The first is I remembered I wasn’t alone. Many before me had similar conversations with God.

Moses wanted God to “send somebody else.”
Gideon wasn’t sure he heard God’s voice clearly.
Esther was afraid of what might happen if she obeyed.
Martha thought God’s call didn’t make sense.

So often what we really need in our Christian walk is for someone to understand what we’re going through and to say, “Me too!  I’ve been there!  And this is how God was faithful.”

That’s what Scripture shows us.  We see broken people bringing their brokenness before God and He still used them.

We don’t have to pretend with God and we don’t have to be perfect before He can use us.  We can tell Him the deeply honest truth and bring Him our brokenness so He can make us whole and holy. (#AnywhereFaith)

I brought God my smallness in that moment.  I gave Him my brokenness.  I told Him the truth:

I feel overwhelmed by the task and underwhelmed by my ability.  I feel like others are more able and more worthy.  I feel uncertain of the next step.  But I will go.  I will follow you “Anywhere” you want me to go as long as you go with me.

As a teen girl, I had copied a poetic prayer into the front of my Bible that began with these words:

Lord, send me anywhere only go with me (David Livingstone).

This became the prayer of my heart.

And truly, wherever He calls us to go, He’s right there with us and His presence is our great desire and our deepest need.

The second thing that happened for me in that moment I wanted to give up is that my phone pinged with a Facebook message from an author I’d never met face to face.

She had been to the writer’s conference before and wanted to encourage me with this: “Don’t feel overwhelmed.  God’s got this.  Don’t worry about what to wear or whether you have the perfect hair.  Don’t feel out of place because you think every woman there will have snazzy outfits and you won’t fit in.  Just be yourself and trust God.”

It was the perfect confirmation, perfect encouragement, perfect word at the perfect moment.

When our hearts are set on obedience to God, He is our Help and our Strength along the way. We don’t have to be enough all on our own!

Whatever God has called you to do, whether it’s to follow Him around the world, across the street or right there in your own home:

He will equip you, He will be with you, and He will help you overcome. (#AnywhereFaith)

But we must first choose to bring Him the honest truth about our fears, insecurities, and excuses and ask for His help to follow Him “Anywhere.”

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3).

 

To read more about how we can bring our honest struggles and fears to God and ask for His help to live lives of obedience and faith, please check out my new book: Anywhere Faith: Overcome Fear, Insecurity, and Excuses and Say Yes to God.

To read more devotionals from heather C. King, please visit her website at http://heathercking.org/ or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/heatherckingauthor/

anywhere-faith-quote-3

Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett

What’s Your REAL LIFE?

A few weeks ago, I asked people on Facebook if they ever felt discouraged scrolling through countless pictures where everyone looked perfect, polished and everything seemed so positive. And then I came out of my comfort zone and posted the following pics:

reallife1 reallife3 Dirty dishes…Overflowing laundry

reallife2 reallife4 Nasty sink…No makeup

 

The response I got from people was overwhelming. Many said my post and pics were refreshing and encouraging to them. Some agreed that they too felt discouraged by the false reality they see on Facebook.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the lie that everyone has it all together. Or that what you see on Facebook is what your life should look like. (And if you really want to take it a step further, check out Pinterest!)

Perfect kids. Immaculate homes. Tantalizing meals that could be on the cover of a magazine. Flawless and polished selfies. Yep. I’ve seen all of these. And yes, I have posted all of these. I’ve proudly posted my kids’ achievements, my exciting celebrations, and of course the perfect date night pics with my husband. I’ll even admit to taking 10 selfies before choosing the best one!

There’s nothing wrong in and of itself for us to post these things on social media. So please hear me out on this. I’m not saying we should all stop posting the highlights of our lives to share with friends and family.

But what I am saying is this:

 Let’s not compare the highlights of other people’s lives with the messy reality of our own lives. For every “highlight” pic you are viewing there are probably 10 other pics of real life you’re not seeing.

For the perfect date night pic you see of your friend, you’re not seeing the pic of the argument that spun out of control on the way home from that date.

For the polished pic of your old high school buddy, you’re not seeing the pic of what she looks like in the morning before she gets her makeup and hair in place.

For the pic of your neighbor’s kids playing their best at a competitive sports game, you’re not seeing the pic of that same kid having a melt-down the next morning getting ready for school.

For the pic of your co-worker’s gathering at her house with everything perfectly in place, you’re not seeing the pic of her house the day before where everything was a disaster and she was yelling at her kids and husband to help her get everything ready. (Why do I know so many details about this?)

For the pic of your friend’s perfectly healthy dinner, you’re not seeing the leftovers she served her family two nights in a row. Or (gasp!) the cheeseburgers and fries she desperately gave her kids from McDonald’s drive-through on the way to soccer practice.

It’s easy for us to fall into a rut of thinking that everyone has it all together. That nobody struggles with anything. That something must be wrong with us. And when we are bombarded with perfect images plastered all over social media, we buy into the perception of this false reality.

Our comparison of reality to something false only breeds disappointment, discouragement and insecurity. 

So what can we do differently? How do we avoid this trap?

I don’t think we should just delete all our social media accounts and say forget it. No, I think there’s a better solution.

Instead of always posting your BEST moments, how about courageously choosing some that aren’t so great? Choose to be REAL.

If my 4 pictures of a messy house and no makeup brought so much encouragement and refreshment to so many people, then what would happen if more of us did the same? What if we chose to be REAL and it trickled down to countless others who are definitely feeling the same way? Think about the ripple effect it could have.

Go ahead and be brave!

Show that pic of your dirty laundry (okay, maybe hide your husband’s underwear.)

Show that pic of your burnt dinner.

Show that pic of your living room littered with toys.

Show the clutter plastered in the floorboard of your car (yes, I’m talking about the fast-food wrappers, empty water bottles and sticky sippy cups.)

Show your “bad-hair” days!!!

It doesn’t even have to be a picture. Maybe a simple statement that you’re having a rough day…with your kids. With your spouse. With work. With life.

Will you join me? If you’re on social media, how about using the label #RealLife with your posts or pics? Whether it’s once a week or every other day, join me in encouraging others with reminders that we all struggle. We all have messes to clean up. We all have challenges with our kids, spouses or co-workers.

We don’t live in a false reality. We live in REAL LIFE!

RealLife

Blessings to you!

Lisa Preuett